Sunday, 13 September 2015

Linking Bridges

Here is the Clifton Suspension bridge airily spanning the Avon river gorge in Bristol and one of the iconic bridges of Britain.  It was Isambard Kingdom Brunel's first major commission when he won the competition to design a bridge over the gorge at just 24 years old and he was appointed project engineer.  Construction was delayed for decades (1831-1864) and on his death in 1859 after a glorious engineering career it was felt by the Institute of Civil Engineers that the completion of the bridge would be a fitting tribute to their colleague.  Designed for pedestrians and horse drawn traffic the structure today carries traffic that Brunel would never have envisaged.   The cover celebrates its 150 years in 2014
with one of the bicentenary of the birth of Brunel stamps issued in 2006.  In fact this was a set I nearly went with this week as it includes three of his bridges but then I found this autumnal FDC which I thought was much more attractive and also so appropriate for the time of year. (The stamp shows a lithograph from 1834 of the bridge).  Now let us take a train trip
This set is called "The Baltic Railway Bridges" and was a joint issue between the three Baltic states. The Estonian cover features a black and white photo of the concrete Sindi rail and road bridge over the River Pärnu which opened , as they say "festively" in February 1928, the traffic regulated by a bridge guard.  I like the double header stream trains.  The cancel is of the Ahja Railway Bridge on the Tartu-Petseri Railway completed in 1931.  But lets look at the stamps left to right.
The first shows Estonia's Narva Bridge, the first built to span the river was in 1869, a stronger one had to be built next to it in 1902 but was destroyed in World War I. A new rail bridge, and the last iron bridge built in Estonia, was opened in December 1923 (162 metres) but destroyed in World War II as indeed was most of the city of Narva by either the Russians or the Germans. (I can't work out whether they have rebuilt this bridge or replaced it as all the photos I've found seem to show a different shape). However I am sure about the sparklingly new Swiss built Stadler FLIRT passenger train shown on the stamp which Estonia had ordered to replace their old trains and expected to be in use soon after the stamp issue but they eventually all came into service in 2013.
The middle stamp is Latvia's Carnikava Bridge, a metal bridge over the Gauja built in 1950 (220.8 metres). A rather nice picture showing it in context appears on Panoramio here
Lastly is Lithuania's longest and highest bridge, the Lyduvinai shown with an equally long goods train.   This stamp issue links three countries but the next stamp shows a bridge directly linking two countries
Liechtenstein with Switzerland ,and is part of the second issue of "Bridges Bring Together" featuring foot and cycle bridges. To journey between the two countries over the Rhine (which marks the border) at one time required a ferry and it was not until 1868 that a bridge was built but it burned down in 1894, the next wooden bridge built in 1896 collapsed with a fire. No wonder they turned to concrete for the present one.
The stamps and maximum cards show two view  of the Rhine Bridge
which links Bendern (Liechtenstein) and Haag (Switzerland).  Guess we are in high summer when the photo on the card was taken, which would be the ideal time to take a cycle ride.
Buchs to Schaan Bridge
This 132 metre bridge is a happy spin off from a large construction project and is the visible part of 6 kilometres of  an underground steam pipeline which brings process steam from a refuse incineration plant in Buchs (Switzerland) to industry in Liechtenstein.
Who would guess that from this peaceful view?. 

An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - Bridges to Anywhere - cross over here to see more.           


Eva A. said...

What a good selection!
I really like this theme. I think sometimes that mail and stamps are asort of bridge...

FinnBadger said...

Love the extra long stamp to show off Clifton Suspension Bridge to its full effect.

Heleen said...

I love all stamps!
And the Maximum cards are great: how nice to see the bridges on postcard and stamp from a different angle!

Bob Scotney said...

I'm very familiar with the Clifton Suspension Bridge as one of my sons lives in Bristol. The thing that really impressed me in this post was those maxi cards and stamps.

VioletSky said...

I love all of these that you've shown this week!!
But the Swiss is ingenuous - and doesn't block any of the view - :)